30 Facts About ‘I Love Lucy’ That Will Make You Re-Watch The Show Today
‘I Love Lucy’ premiered on October 15, 1951, and back then no one had a clue how massive and shocking this TV show would become. This TV show was shocking and loved for many things: Lucy was married to a foreign man, she was more than a regular housewife with her ”I can and will do’ attitude, and the main actresses was pregnant on the show. But wait! There was much more.
‘I Love Lucy’ become one oft he TV’s most popular and beloved programs of all time. The show won a few awards along the way, stayed on the air for six seasons, and shaped the future of TV programming.
However, there are some facts that people had no idea about this all-American TV show that people loved even today. Read on and discover 30 facts about ‘I Love Lucy’ that you never heard of. (Check out page 6 to learn why Lucille and Arnaz divorced after 20 years)
30. ‘I Love Lucy’ Was Originally ‘My Favorite Husband’
Lucille Ball was running a favorite radio show called ‘My Favorite Husband’ that CBS wanted to turn into a TV show.
Lucille loved the idea and she was ready to say immediately yes to the offer. However, she had one condition.
NEXT: Lucille had someone special in her life
29. Lucille And Her TV Husband
Lucille Ball was sure that people would love to see real people on TV. So, she wanted her real-life husband on the show.
In reality, Lucille was married to Desi Arnaz and she wanted him in her TV show. At the time, they were already married for ten years.
NEXT: How Americans reacted on American housewife being married to a foreigner
28. CBS Was Sure That Americans Would Reject Mixed Marriage
Mixed marriages weren’t so often in the 1950’s so it comes naturally that CBS was worried that American viewers wouldn’t accept average housewife being married to a man with so strong foreign accent.
The fast that Arnaz was a well-known musical couldn’t help. Therefore, Lucille and Desi had to work together to convince the network that they could convince everyone that they are husband and wife. Luckily, CBS eventually said yes and the rest is history.
NEXT: Ricky almost ended up with different name
27. Have You Met Larry Lopez?
Initially, Ricky Ricardo was supposed to be Larry Lopez. But the name had to be changed after the producers heard the audience’s opinion on the name.
The audience didn’t like similar-sounding names, so producers changed it to Ricky Ricardo. The rest is history.
NEXT: How old was Lucille when the first episode aired
26. Lucy Was A Late Bloomer
When the show aired no one minded how old the main actors were. They saw them as 30+ and it was enough. Today, many are shocked when they learn how old Lucille was when the show kicked-off.
When the first episode aired, Lucille was 41-year-old. But no one cared about her age. People just focused on her comedy.
NEXT: This is how older Lucille was from her husband in reality
25. The Age Gap
People know that Lucille and Desi had a long marriage, but only a few know how young Desi was when they got married. They also eloped together.
They eloped together in 1940 and even lied about their age. At the time, Lucille was 29 and Desi was 23. For the wedding, Lucille lied that she is 26, and Desi claimed that he is 25.
NEXT: Lucille and Desi weren’t the only couple with an age gap
24. Other TV Couple
It’s hard for anyone to imagine the ‘I Love Lucy’ and her daily adventures without action-oriented couple and landlords, Fred (William Frawley) and Ethel (Vivian Vance).
The difference between Fred and Ethel? Just 22 years.
NEXT: They really had rough time off-screen
23. No Love Among Landlords
Willian and Vivian had one thing in common: professionalism. During the six-season of the show, everyone was surprised that the couple worked so well, due to their age gap. But…
The truth is that they had strong tension off-screen, but neither of them allowed it to be seen on the show. Moreover, many of the co-stars discovered it years later. Maybe the age gap was too strong?
NEXT: Lucy wasn’t originally blond
22. Lucille’s Real Hair Color
Everything seems different when you watch TV in color or black in white. To many Lucy was a true blond American girl, while for others she was that funny chick with red hair. They were both right and wrong.
Ball’s natural hair was brown. When she came to Hollywood she dyed it blond. Her red hair also looked dyed.
NEXT: Why a minister, priest, and rabbi watched every episode of ‘I Love Lucy’
21. ‘I Loved Lucy’ Had To Be Controlled By Authorities
When Lucy was pregnant every episode had to be reviewed by a minster, prises, and rabbi. No, it isn’t a joke. They had a good reason for this regular control.
They had one mutual goal: to make sure that there isn’t anything offensive to the television audience.
NEXT: One actor had an unbelievable memory
20. Desi Arnaz Had It All Memorized
It can be challenging to memorize all those lines in a short time. But, according to many, that wasn’t an issue for this famous artist.
According to his co-stars, Desi could memorize all of his lines after the very first table reading. Therefore, he had more time for delivery practice and making his performance better.
NEXT: She almost died during this famous scene
19. Famous Grapes Scene
Stomping on grapes in a big barrel is still one of the most popular scenes in ‘I Love Lucy’. But this funny scene could have a fatal outcome.
During the filming of the scene, Ball was chocking on a grape. She kept filming and didn’t show anyhow anyone that she was suffering. Once the scene was done, the crew helped her!
NEXT: Only one person on the set could make fun of Ricky’s broken English
18. It Was OK For Lucy To Make Fun Of Ricky’s English
No one else but Lucy could make fun of Ricky’s English and it was like an unwritten rule. Her husband her rules, after all. What about the audience?
The studio audience had to remain silent every time Lucy and Ricky had arguments about linguistic and Ricky’s English.
NEXT: Why smoking was required on-set
17. Smoking Was Mandatory
For ‘I Love Lucy’ to happen, CBS had to find a huge sponsor. Philip Morris, a tobacco giant, stepped in.
As a result, smoking had to be featured in every episode and whenever it was possible ‘Philip Morris’ was used in a dialogue.
NEXT: One actor had huge memory problems
16. He Complained About Having Too Many Lines
Arnaz had no trouble memorizing his text. However, his co-star William Frawley had another problem: he just couldn’t memorize his lines. And it caused a line of problems.
Frawley often struggled with his script and complaining about having too much to say every week. After all, his lines are what made people love the show even more.
NEXT: She was the first female to own a production company
15. Desilu Productions
The entire show was filmed on 35mm, which was extremely expensive at the time, and both Lucille and Desi demanded it. They also decided on the show’s location.
The couple had a claim over the show through their company, Desilu Productions. The company was on Lucille’s name.
NEXT: He was so patriotic that he denided tax-cheating scene
14. Always Pay Your Taxes
Desi believed in the American dream and he was extremely patriotic when it came to his new and adopted homeland. Therefore, he said no to non-American values.
Then, when a scene demanded Ricky to fudge some numbers on his income tax return, he refused to play it. Moreover, he asked the writers to remove it.
NEXT: He had a tough time between work and baseball
13. He Had Unique Contract
William Frawley was a huge fan of baseball. Actually, he was so passionate about his favorite team New Your Yankees that he had a special clause in his contract.
He was allowed to miss filming whenever the Yankees were playing a World Series game. Interestingly, Yankees made the World Series each year of the show’s run but one.
NEXT: They hated each other at first
12. ‘I Love Lucy’ Frenemies?
Vivian Vance and Lucille Ball were not so fond of each other in the beginning. At first, Ball was afraid that Vance could overshadow her because she was that good at her work.
Luckily, soon after they started working together the tension flew right out of the window.
NEXT: Only one ‘I Love Lucy’ Member Never Received An Emmy Nomination
11. Emmy Awards
‘I Love Lucy’ would attract enormous attraction during the award season. Even three out of four main cast members received popular Emmy nomination. Who was the main member who was left out?
Desi Arnaz never received a nomination for his work in this popular TV show. Lucille has actually won an Emmy four-time and was nominated 13 times.
NEXT: Why telephone numbers in the show had to be changed often
10. Sorry, You Dialed The Wrong Number
Whenever a telephone number was spoken in the show, the producers had to make sure that the number is not in use, not real. Otherwise, people would just call and harass the real owners.
The easiest solution was to change numbers. Therefore, Mertzes’ had four phone numbers, while the Ricardos had only two.
NEXT: An unusual tradition on set
9. The Famous Silver Coin
The ‘I Love Lucy’ crew was pretty hilarious and the live audience loved them. But how funny were they?
They had a tradition on the set. Whenever someone got the audience to randomly start cheering or laughing they would win a silver dollar at the end of the scene.
NEXT: How re-run was born thanks to ‘I Love Lucy’
8. The Era Of Re-Runs
Desi wanted to make sure that his wife gets enough time to rest and sleep after the new child was born. So, he decided to step in. That was nice from the spouse’s side, but it was a tragedy for the production schedule. So, they had to find a fast solution.
The show was in trouble suddenly, since the two of the show’s cast members weren’t coming to work. So, they had to run old episodes. That’s how the first re-run was born.
NEXT: This is why Lucille and Desi kept children away from the set
7. Protecting Their Children
It’s common nowadays for celebrities to enroll their children in a movie that they are playing or any other Hollywood project. However, Lucille and Desi seemed to disagree!
They strongly believed that children’s individualism and life should be kept from public life. Years later, kids shared that they are fine with not appearing in the popular TV show next to their parents.
NEXT: This is why famous Arnaz-Ball couldn’t last
6. The Public Separation
Although Lucy and Ricky enjoyed their on-screen life with minor challenges, the reality was difficult for Arnaz and Ball.
Ball filed for a divorce in 1944 because of Arnaz’s excess drinking and womanizing. However, according to numerous friends they still loved each other after the divorce.
NEXT: How Lucille’s pregnancy created panic
5. Baby And Behind-The-Scenes Panic
Lucille had three miscarriages before giving birth to her daughter Lucie. So, during season two, Lucille discovered that she was pregnant. And producers had no idea what to do with the show.
The issue was that a female character was never seen on television pregnant. Moreover, it was impossible to hide her pregnancy, because according to Lucille ‘she got as big as a house’. The solution? Write the pregnancy in the show. And it worked amazingly.
NEXT: Why Mertzes’ missed the first season
4. The Mertzes
Vivian Vance and William Fawley did an amazing job as supporting roles. However, it was planned for them to come and go. But…
The Mertzes only missed seven episodes in season one. The audience loved them so much that they were written in as regular characters starting from the second season.
NEXT: She was also a Broadway star
3. She Was A Wild Cat
Outside of her Lucy role, Lucille Ball was a well-known Broadway star. She even appeared in the musical Wildcat, about an oil tycoon and his sister.
This was also her first role on Broadway. The play ran 172 times before ending its run. Also, it had great reviews.
NEXT: This was the longest laugh
2. The Longest Laugh On The Show Lasted Exactly 65 Seconds
The tango scene between Lucy and Ricky is one of the show’s best moments. The audience roared for so long that they had to cut the background noise in post-production.
What really got people cracking was the fact that they used the real eggs. Watching Lucy with eggs going way down is still hilarious.
NEXT: She was the first cover of TV guide
1. First TV Guide Edition
Lucille Ball was the first cover of the famous TV Guide. But this wasn’t the last time for her to be seen here.
She appeared 39 times as cover for TV Guide, more than any other celebrity ever.